As Team Nigeria to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics prepares to depart the shores of the nation, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has known as on the crew to copy the excellent performances of previous Nigerian Olympians, noting that “you stand on the shoulders of giants.”
Recalling the exploits of previous Nigerian groups, the Vice President added that “you will also carry with you the encouragement of the great exploits of Nigerian Olympians before you.”
Prof. Osinbajo acknowledged this at this time on the ship forth ceremony for Team Nigeria to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, on the Presidential Villa. The occasion additionally marked the formal handover of the Nigerian contingent to the Nigeria Olympic Committee and the revealing of the crew’s official outfit and package.
He reminded the crew of “such legends as Chioma Ajunwa who gained the gold medal on the 1996 Olympics for the lengthy leap and have become the primary black African lady to win an Olympic gold medal in a subject occasion.
“The Super Eagles in 1996 who won the gold medal for football; that was the team that had the greats; Augustine Okocha, Celestine Babayaro, Daniel Amokachi (who was present at the event,) Sunday Oliseh, Taribo West, Kanu Nwankwo, Abiodun Obafemi, Emmanuel Amuneke, Emmanuel Babayaro, Garba Lawal, Joseph Dosu, Kingsley Obiekwu, Mobi Obaraku, Uche Okechukwu, Teslim Fatusi, Tijani Babangida, Victor Ikpeba, and Wilson Oruma —that was the year we defeated the world’s best footballing nations – Brazil and Argentina and we all held our heads high.”
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Continuing, the VP mentioned “in 2000, in Sydney once more we beat the perfect on the earth, we gained the gold in 4×400 meter relay after the American crew was disqualified for utilizing performance-enhancing medicine. Our crew then was Clement Chukwu, the late Sunday Bada, Enefiok Udo-Ubong, Jude Monye, and two different members of the crew, Fidelis Gadzama and Nduka Awazie.
“And for anybody who thinks we’re joking, perhaps they haven’t seen our exhibition basketball recreation on Saturday with the USA crew, particularly that tremendous block by Precious Achiuwa in opposition to KD – Kevin Durant, who might be the perfect participant within the NBA proper now. So, Precious, you’re the actual MVP!
“You stand on the shoulders of giants and with the quality and intensity of training you have received and your exploits during the qualification series for the Olympic Games, I am confident that by God’s grace, you will again make history and beat the best in the world.”
Urging the crew to advertise the Olympian beliefs, Prof. Osinbajo mentioned “Olympics is about truthful play, honesty, teamwork, respect, and friendship. I belief that you’ll, as worthy ambassadors of Nigeria, signify our nation excellently.
“Fair play clearly enjoins every athlete not to use any prohibited substances or to cheat in any way. Half of the joy and satisfaction of victory is that it was won fairly.”
“Every one of you participating in the games is opening a page in history for yourself, your families, your community, and the nation.”
Prof. Osinbajo then assured the crew of the prayers and help of all Nigerians as they compete with athletes from different nations.
His phrases: “Your performance at the games will inscribe your names in national and world sporting history. You carry the hopes and aspirations of millions as you compete in Tokyo. But you will in this endeavor, have the assurance of the prayers and best wishes of all Nigerians.”
While commending the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare for coordinating the assorted sporting Federations in preparation for the Games, the Vice President urged the athletes to make good use of amenities at its coaching floor within the City of Kizarazu to place themselves in correct form forward of the Games.
He urged the crew to proceed to watch all COVID-19 protocols and to strictly adhere to the IOC Playbook with the intention to safeguard their well being and people of others round them.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, mentioned the athletes had been able to do the nation proud and offered to the Vice President, the made-in-Nigeria kits for the Nigerian contingent.
“I am happy to announce today that the complete kit for Team Nigeria to the Tokyo 2020 Games was produced with a heavy dose of local content. We thank AFA Sports, Africa For Africa, a local sports equipment manufacturing company for delivering on the production of uniforms for Team Nigeria. This is a veritable testament and commitment of the Buhari administration to support and grow local content and industry in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
On his half, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr Habu Gumel thanked the President and the Vice President for honoring Team Nigeria and warranted that the contingent won’t disappoint the nation.
“I’m completely happy to tell Mr. President that every one the 15 athletes on Olympic Scholarships certified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, which slowed down the coaching momentum for the Games, we’re nonetheless optimistic that the crop of Nigerian certified athletes will do our nation proud on the Tokyo Olympic Games.
One highpoint of the event was the formal handover of Team Nigeria to the Nigeria Olympic Committee by the Vice President and the Sports Minister, and the revealing of the official outfit and package of the crew.
Present on the ceremony had been Federal Legislators, officers of the Japanese Embassy in Nigeria, 45 athletes and their coaches, officers of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, and the Nigeria Olympic Committee, amongst others.